The bipartisan panel appointed by Congress to investigate the financial crisis has concluded that several financial industry figures appear to have broken the law and has referred multiple cases to state or federal authorities for potential prosecution, according to two sources directly involved in the deliberations.
The sources, who spoke on condition they not be named, declined to identify the people implicated or the names of their institutions. But they characterized the panel’s decision to make referrals to prosecutors as a significant escalation in the government’s response to the financial crisis. The panel plans to release its final report in Washington on Thursday morning.
But the decision to refer cases for potential prosecution could provoke a different conclusion: It may yet satisfy public craving for what Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner once referred to as the “very deep public desire for Old Testament justice.”
The commission’s report is supposed to detail the definitive causes of the crisis. Over the course of the past year, the panel has interviewed more than 700 witnesses, reviewed millions of pages of documents, and held 19 days of public hearings across the country.